About the Match
New Zealand fell 56 runs short of the Bangladesh total but made some inroads into the Bangladesh batting order by the end of Day 4. The final day of this match could prove to be very intriguing as New Zealand chase the slimmest chances of victory.
Day 5 Preview
Bangladesh can be very proud of what they have achieved so far in this test match. They have out-batted New Zealand and are now within touching distance of a draw to keep this series alive. The only thing standing between Bangladesh and a draw is the team itself.
Bangladeshi supporters would be well aware of the team’s propensity to self-destruct when they seem to be in commanding positions. The loss of three wickets for 66 and the possibility that Imrul Kayes might not bat again must be making a lot of people nervous.
New Zealand will go into day 5 thinking positively. They just need two quick wickets to throw this game wide open and maybe even snatch an improbable victory. Bangladesh is 122 runs ahead right now and will know that even 250 or thereabouts could be chased down by New Zealand if they get 40 or so overs to bat.
We expect New Zealand to go hard at Bangladesh and put a lot of attacking fielders around the bat. If the Bangladeshi batsmen bat aggressively then they should be able to score runs quickly and make their way to safety. Mominul Haque is at the crease right now and Mushfiqur Rahim should join him the first thing on Day 5. Both these batsmen had an excellent first innings and will be crucial to Bangladesh’s safety.
Following them will be Shakib Al Hassan, the double centurion from the first innings, and so Bangladesh would be confident of getting through this tricky 5th
New Zealand will want their premier pace bowlers, Trent Boult and Tim Southee, to put in a much-improved performance and try to prise out some quick wickets. We think that Southee might be in line to take some wickets, however, would advise backing Santner as the top wicket taker considering the sharp spin he was extracting off the wicket.
The pitch has changed its nature somewhat, however, it is nowhere near being an unplayable surface as can be expected on a fifth-day wicket. Bangladesh does not have much to fear from the surface apart from a little bit of extra spin and the occasional ball that is stopping on the batsman.
Taking everything into consideration including the conditions and position of the match, we think that Bangladesh should be able to hold on for a draw. Their strongest batsmen are yet to come and the New Zealand pacemen have been below their best.
But, and there is a big but, the possibility of a collapse cannot be ruled out. Bangladesh is like Pakistan in this respect and have burnt their supporters far too often. New Zealand should not all lose hope just yet. Stranger things have happened in cricket